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Show a little love this Valentine's Day... with local art.

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Looking to show some local love this Valentine's Day?

On Sunday, February 10, 2019, from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM, you'll find a fantastic display of local art and artisan items at the Pop-Up Art Sale, which will be held at The Coffee Joint on Main Street in Cornish, Maine (across from Thompson Park). The event is organized by the founders of Cornish Free Art Fridays*.

Valentine's Pop Up Art Sale - Feb. 10, 2019

Shoppers will find locally crafted and artistically thoughtful gifts for those romantic celebrations of February, from jewelry to fine art paintings, from delicious certified gluten-free baked goods to photographs and wall art and more.

What is a pop-up sale?

CFAF Pop Up Art sales are basically what they sound like. Art sales that "pop up" at different locations. I checked out the most recent sale around Christmastime and was very glad that I did! Not only did I meet local artists, but I was able to find unique, quality, handmade, Maine gift items for a few people on my list.

Why have a pop-up sale?

The 2018 Cornish art walk events finished off the season in September with almost 15 sponsoring businesses and over 30 registered artists. The group worked hard to spread the word that there was a more localized opportunity to walk and enjoy art from beautiful downtown to Maple Street while visiting the local business. Each site held a collective of artists vending everything from fine art to local organic goods, from metal sculptures to music - without having to drive to Portland. There are many city and community art walks throughout Maine. Some art walks even take place year-round although, they tend to be indoors during the snowy winter months.

Kim Printy (L) of Runs with Wolves Sanctuary, and Shelby Oates of Sowing Oates, LLC (R)

"While Portland continues their art walk movement regardless of season, it can be difficult for a small town to have a safe path to maintain the format of an event like CFAF. So, when our pilot season closed with a core of participating artists and sponsors with new artists reaching out for more details, we had to consider if our hibernation would last all winter or if we would persevere to grow through the snow." - Shelby Oates

CFAF coordinator and event manager, Shelby Oates of Sowing Oates, LLC discovered that many of the founding artists were interested in winter pop up sales. After meeting with the founding supporters, The Coffee Joint graciously offered a platform to bring the art walk movement indoors for the season. Dan and Margaret were happy to participate and provide the space.

Margaret Downing, the smiling, gluten-free baker, and partner at The Coffee Joint.

"This event is right in line with what we've been envisioning for The Coffee Joint. To provide a place where people can come together and feel a true sense of community. We are a small town made up of many different people, and to see local artists come together like this is great." Margaret Downing, The Coffee Joint

In a fairly remote area with so many fantastic artists, it isn't often that you see so many at once. And they say that they are grateful for the events as well.

Ben Newman, The Distracted Dragon

"The sale went quite well for me! I met a lot of local artists, and people were very receptive to my work. I'm very grateful that Shelby Oates took the time to organize the event, and I appreciate that The Coffee Joint was willing to host it. There was plenty of space there, and the easy access to good coffee was a plus." Ben Newman, The Distracted Dragon

Sue Melanson, artist

"The last Pop-up Art Sale was a cozy and inviting venue for both artists and patrons inside The Coffee Joint. It was a great opportunity to pick up one-of-a-kind original art just in time for Christmas, and now you can do it again for Valentine's Day. The variety of artwork was and will be fun to come see if not to buy... and enjoy a snack while you browse. Margaret makes a killer Hot Chocolate from scratch. Last summer I loved the Free Art Friday art sales and hope more folks will discover them when the weather gets better and we can set up outside." Sue Melanson Oak Hill Farm Fine Artist

Photos above, clockwise, include: Michelle Marshall - Padruig Original Designs & Guitar String Jewelry, Kate Hastings of Good Health Cafe & Catering - handmade Maine Christmas ornaments & our very own Dasha Smirnova of Sacopee Valley Community News - artisan chocolate, Gustie Day Cooledge - Fine Art by Gustie, Diana Hinton - Fine Art by Diana, Corey Oates - fine artist, illustration and tattoo artist Sowing Oates, LLC, and Autumn Cyr - OH Darlings Wall Art.


Artists can register for or find out more information about these free art events by emailing You can stay tuned to Cornish Free Art Friday via Facebook and @artfridayscornish via Instagram for future events, invitations, and registration opportunities.

*Cornish Free Art Fridays, more commonly referred to as CFAF, was founded by Cornish neighbors who share a common goal: to promote local artists, by coordinating events and providing an outlet for artists and businesses to work together.

By Cristina Forsyth and Shelby Oates


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